Tuesday, August 12, 2014

culinary adventures

Easton helping with homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum!
If it's true that "you are what you eat," then our family has been getting a total makeover this summer! We've been trying to eat healthy for a long time now, but our move to Oregon has given us the time and space to take things to the next level. Perhaps all the upheaval of moving (again!) is balanced out by measurable changes in our diet. I've discovered a couple of phenomenal blogs that have given me the courage to embark on culinary adventures. So, if you're wondering where I am these days ... think KITCHEN and Farmer's Market. Yes, it's absorbed a lot of my time, but we're busy learning new skills and developing new habits that will get easier with practice. The kids have been totally intrigued with the process and totally on board with trying new foods (well, mostly :)).

Here's a list of 10 changes we've made. The first 5 have been part of our routine for a couple years or more. You may remember my blog posts from Wheaton about brain food - here and here - and about once-a-month baking. The next 5 changes are new for us this summer, prompted by close proximity to Bob's Red Mill and a great Farmer's Market and a "chance" encounter with a couple of great blogs: www.100daysofrealfood.com and www.kitchenstewardship.com. Before I say more, a quick word about why I bother blogging about this when I'm not a nutrition expert and this is not a food blog. I'm convinced that we are called to honor God with our whole selves, mind and body. What we eat affects our worship and our testimony. It's also a matter of stewardship -- of our time, money, our body, and this planet's resources. This post is designed to inspire you to take the next step toward healthy eating, whatever that means for you. Eating real food is possible, even on a budget or a tight schedule. Where there's a will, there's a way, one step at a time.

 1. Avoiding artificial colors, flavors, hydrogenated oils, and sweeteners
 2. Limiting sugar (we're now switching to natural cane sugar, honey, and pure maple syrup)
 3. Eating whole grains whenever possible
 4. Baking our own bread
 5. Making our own baked goods

 6. Grinding our own grain
 7. Buying fresh and local produce
 8. Switching to olive and coconut oil
 9. Experimenting with green smoothies
10. "Stock"ing up on the basics

I have many other aspirations - making our own yogurt, cutting out chemically-laden cleaning supplies, growing a garden, and maybe even canning - but these things take time. We can only do so much in a day (usually less), so we'll just try to keep moving in healthier directions. So far it's been a fun and delicious adventure!

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